The ‘Central Park Karen’ who lied about an innocent gay Black man threatening her has been criminally charged by police
Amy Cooper, the white woman who falsely accused a queer Black man of threatening her after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, has been charged with a misdemeanour punishable by up to a year in jail.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced charges on Monday (6 July) against Amy in a statement.
It was your everyday dust-off between two ticked-off New Yorkers. Amy’s dog running amuck in a patch of Central Park where he shouldn’t have. Christian Cooper, 57, an avid birder, politely asked Amy to leash her dog.
But as Amy’s voice rattled and climbed to horror movie pitch, Christian began to video the exchange that saw Amy file a false police report, claiming the man was threatening her life. He simply stood there from afar and asked her to put her dog on a leash.
The video, viewed more than 40 million times, became a sobering example of the ways white folk use their race as leverage against people of colour.
New York district attorney: ‘Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.’
Manhattan’s district attorney, Cy Vance Jr, said in a statement: “Today our office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
“Our office will provide the public with additional information as the case proceeds. At this time I would like to encourage anyone who has been the target of false reporting to contact our office.
“We are strongly committed to holding perpetrators of this conduct accountable.”
Amy was issued a desk appearance ticket Monday and is scheduled to be arranged October 14, making the 40-year-old the latest fallout of a reckoning sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement, one where activists aim to firmly squash the racial biases that saturate society.
If Amy is convicted of the Class A misdemeanour, she could be sentenced to community service or counselling, or receive a conditional discharge, rather than jail time.
Amy Cooper’s lawyer blames ‘cancel culture epidemic’ for client being charged.
Her lawyer, Robert Barnes, who previously represented right-wing provocateur Alex Jones, slammed the “cancel culture epidemic” that he saw as pressuring a need for justice.
“She lost her job, her home, and her public life,” Barnes told the New York Times, referring to Amy losing her role as head of insurance portfolio management at Franklin Templeton.
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“Now some demand her freedom? How many lives are we going to destroy over misunderstood 60-second videos on social media?” he added, commenting on a case of a white woman filing a false report to law enforcement that would have potentially destroyed a Black man’s life if there was video proving his innocence.
Christian said Monday that he had “had zero involvement” in the district attorney’s case against her. Asked to comment on her pending charge, he simply remarked: “I have no reaction.”
Overall, Christian has expressed relative indifference towards Amy and the backlash that has bubbled against her for weeks. In the days after the 25 May incident, with footage of the altercation still radiating online, the former Marvel Comics writer expressed unease at calling her “racist”.
“I can’t see how [Amy Cooper losing her job] addresses the underlying issues,” he told the New York Daily News on Tuesday 27 May, speaking after Amy was fired.
“I think it’s important to move beyond this instance and this one individual.
“Too much focus has been put on her when it really is about the underlying issues that have plagued this city and this country for centuries – racial issues.”